TRAIL COUPLE HIT THE 1,100 MILE MARK

Chris Whittingham R.I.P.

the Appalachian Trail (source: http://www.appalachiantrail.org/about-the-trail)

Harry and Fran on the Appalachian Trail

Harry and Fran on the cliff edge

First published in Letters

A young couple from Twickenham have reached the big halfway mark on their epic 2,168 mile charity hike through the United States of America.

Chef Harry Whittingham and his musician girlfriend Fran Matthews are following the Appalachian Trail from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine.

The couple have put their careers on hold for six months in a bid to complete the challenge and raise money in memory of Harry's late father.

The Princess Alice Hospice provided invaluable end-of-life care to Chris Whittingham, a much-loved local figure who died, aged 63, in 2012 after a five-year battle with cancer.

"My father Chris was a selfless and unique man who inspired everyone including Harry and Fran to follow their dreams," says Harry's brother Dan, speaking at the family's Twickenham home. "This is their way of doing something in memory of Dad and supporting the charity that helped our family."

Chris Whittingham trained as a doctor, worked as an actor and later in life, lead worship at United Reformed Churches in the south London area. His funeral at Twickenham URC on Twickenham Green was attended by 200 people.

Adds Dan: "Dad fought cancer with superhuman positivity, and thanks to the Princess Alice Hospice, he was able to pass away at home in peace."

* Harry Whittingham is posting regular photographs and articles on thetrailblog.wordpress.com. To join the adventure and support the hospice, visit justgiving.com/harry-whittingham Based on information supplied by Dan Whittingham.

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